News

Parks: More Than Just a Playground

Summertime is in full swing, and, for many of us, it’s the time of year we consider engaging with the great outdoors. However, as much as we might like, we can’t make every day a journey into nature … or can we? Local parks are a significant way to bring a piece of nature into our neighborhoods. And perhaps surprisingly, they may be doing a lot more good than just being a place to take the kids for a push on the swing. It’s not a stretch of the imagination that parks help communities be more physically active. The relationship…

Read More

7 Tips for Shopping at Your Local Farmers Market

There are nearly 9,000 farmers markets currently in operation across the United States. With offerings ranging from fresh fruits and vegetables to locally raised meats to fresh cut flowers and more, your local farmers market plays a huge role in both the accessibility of nourishing food and the stimulation of the local economy. August 5-11, 2018 is National Farmers Market Week, and it’s the perfect time to explore your local market. To get the most out of your experience, remember these seven easy tips: Plan out your trip. Make sure you know the location of the market and its hours….

Read More

2018 American Fitness Index Overview Infographic

According to the 2018 ACSM American Fitness Index, the top 10 fittest cities in the U.S. are: Arlington, VA Minneapolis, MN Washington, D.C. Madison, WI Portland, OR Seattle, WA Denver, CO St. Paul, MN San Jose, CA Boise, ID Share this infographic and the Fitness Index with your city officials and local leaders to start a conversation on making your city a healthier place for all residents. Download a PDF of the Infographic here.

Read More

We’re Expanding! Fitness Index will now rank America’s 100 largest cities

The American Fitness Index is proud to announce that the 2018 rankings will be released on May 15th! This year’s rankings feature some exciting changes.  We’re expanding! For the first ten years of the Fitness Index, the rankings evaluated the 50 largest metro areas. This approach provided important and valuable general messages, but limited the ability to provide targeted assistance to city and community leaders that need specific data at the local level. With the May 15th release of the 2018 rankings, the Fitness Index will expand to the 100 largest cities in the U.S. This approach distinguishes the largest…

Read More

Fruit and Vegetables Fuel Good Health

  You were always told you to eat fruit and vegetables – and it turns out that was very smart advice! It has been well established that diet and physical fitness are strongly linked. However, high levels of physical activity can’t make up for a poor diet, any more than healthy eating can remove the need for physical activity. In fact, researchers have consistently reported that exercise alone is not likely to effectively reduce weight – a change in eating patterns is required. Unhealthy eating is a known risk factor for many leading causes of disease, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke and some cancers. The ACSM…

Read More

Good Sleep: An Indicator of Good Health

Regularly getting a good night’s sleep is so important for good health that it was added as an indicator to the American Fitness Index last year. The 2018 American Fitness Index Rankings will also list “percent getting seven or more hours of sleep per day” as one of the personal health indicators that are used to calculate the final rankings. The source of data for this indicator is the CDC’s Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) national telephone survey. As you might imagine, the telephone survey methods used are very rigorous to make sure the results are as accurate as…

Read More

Physically active families: Creating healthy habits this fall

In many ways, Fall is a “new year” for American families. For those whose annual schedule revolves around the academic calendar, fall is a time for new beginnings and fresh starts. In the spirit of back-to-school season, ACSM’s American Fitness Index hosted a Twitter chat with some of our subject matter expert members who offered advice to families looking to kick-off the school year with healthier habits. Plan to eat for success First, Tanya Halliday, Ph.D., R.D. chimed in on tips for eating seasonally, packing healthy lunches and feeding families under the most serious of time-crunches. “Apples and pumpkin get…

Read More

10th Annual American Fitness Index Reveals Minneapolis-St. Paul as the Newest “Fit City”

Half of metro areas saw scores improve Indianapolis (May 16) – The twin cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul edged Washington, D.C. in the 10th annual American Fitness Index (Fitness Index) rankings released by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the Anthem Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Anthem, Inc.  The nation’s capital held the top spot for the past three years and improved its score in 2017, but Minneapolis-St. Paul still finished on top despite the challenges of being a northern state with hard winters. (Link – View the rankings and individual metro data here or at the chart below.)…

Read More

Infographic: 2017 ACSM American Fitness Index

According to the 2017 ACSM American Fitness Index, the top 10 fittest cities in the U.S. are: Minneapolis, MN Washington, DC San Francisco, CA Seattle, WA San Jose, CA Boston, MA Denver, CO Portland, OR Salt Lake City, UT San Diego, CA Share this infographic and the Fitness Index with your local leaders to start a conversation on making your city a healthier place for all residents.

Read More

ACSM American Fitness Index Through the Years

In 2017 the ACSM American Fitness Index celebrates it’s 10th anniversary. For the last decade, the Fitness Index has been recognized as an assessment and evaluation tool to educate community leaders on the importance of key indicators of physical activity. With the support of supplementary resources such as the Community Action Guide and My Community Application Toolkit, leaders can focus on policy, systems and environmental change strategies that are evidence-based and create sustainability for the community. Nationally, there have been noticeable long-term trends in the rankings that are both positive and negative. The positive trends include: smoking rates have declined…

Read More